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Live Well. Eat Well.

Cracking the Fertile Egg Myth

I for one am a breakfast food fanatic! What's more, I absolutely love the smell of bacon in the morning! But what if I told you eggs and bacon aren't as simple as they once were. There are constantly new products out on the market targeting consumers as being a "healthier" alternative or a "new and improved" version of a classic. Ironically, the trend of making things seem simpler, less modified and more "natural" is what's sweeping store shelves today. Just when you thought it couldn't get simpler than bacon and eggs, enter uncured bacon and fertile eggs.

Uncured bacon seems like a "healthier choice" because it doesn't contain nitrates and nitrites, which are perceived to be "bad." A 2013 article by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that nitrates and nitrites help stabilize color and protect against food developing botulism. These compounds have been believed to be cancer causing in humans, however, emerging evidence also indicates that conversion of these same nitrites to nitric oxide in the blood has beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and the potential to lower blood pressure. On average, meats contribute 5-20% of dietary nitrate and nitrite intake- drinking water and vegetables also provide these in the diet. So unless one is consuming pounds and pounds of bacon daily, choosing an uncured version would have a minute effect on overall consumption.

Fertile eggs … a new trend popular amongst the "raw" diet enthusiasts, with the idea that fertile eggs are more nutritious than infertile eggs.What's a fertile egg, you ask? These eggs contain both male and female genetic material, beginning the first stage of embryonic development, but does not develop any further. Commercial egg farms rarely house roosters and hens together, so nearly all eggs found in grocery stores are infertile. Currently, there is no actual detectable chemical difference between fertile and infertile eggs nor is there any scientific evidence that one is nutritionally superior to the other (Food and Nutrition Magazine Jan/Feb 2015). But, it is possible that fertile eggs spoil sooner than infertile- so, all in all, not worth the extra money they might cost for a shorter shelf life!

So when perusing the super markets or flipping through the latest issue of your preferred health/fitness publication, if you see these products highlighted, now you can say you know the facts!